There has been a fair amount of positive hype surrounding newcomer, Easton Corbin, as of late. He has been lauded as the next George Strait (not that George Strait is going anywhere quite yet, by the way!). Since he isn’t afraid to prominently feature the steel guitar on his self-titled debut record, such comparison is natural if not justified, though Corbin’s voice is not yet as strong as Strait’s.
Country radio is still playing some neotraditional artists in the vein of George Strait, Alan Jackson, Joe Nichols and Josh Turner, but Corbin is somewhat of an anomaly in the largely pop-leaning mainstream country music landscape. As a result, being a proponent of traditionalism, it is admittedly tempting to give him special deference for embracing a sound that is not prevalent on radio right now. His album, however, is a product of mixed results that does not quite live up to the hype, but is a solid debut effort nonetheless.
From songs like the lead single, “I’m A Little More Country Than That” (an indirect proposal song), which celebrates country life by comparing himself to decidedly country elements, to “Roll with It” and “That’ll Make You Wanna Drink”, Corbin makes it clear that he is a man who embraces the simple kind of life, which he emotionally equates to being a country boy. Incidentally, these songs are among the weaker tracks on the album.
Alongside the innocuous swagger, Corbin intersperses songs that explores relationships in the simplest terms. Stereotypes about old people abound in “Someday When I’m Old”, but the song still maintains a tangible sweetness. Additionally, “Don’t Ask Me About a Woman” is a predictable characterization of how confusing women are, though with an amusing line that says, “Boy, I’ve lived nearly eighty years/a lot of know-how between these ears/But when it comes to your grandma, /I’m still your age.”
The most infectious melody on the album is the Caribbean flavored “A Lot to Learn About Livin’” with the dullest song, both in melody and content, being “Let Alone You.” As a counterpoint, one of the strongest songs is the final track, “Leavin’ a Lonely Town”, which follows the protagonist as he is on his way out of a town that he has apparently outgrown.
In many ways, Easton Corbin hearkens back to the neo-traditional movement of the Class of ’89. The simple melodies are encased in the sonic appeal of fiddles, steel and acoustic guitars, and prominent, though not overpowering, drums. Moreover, Corbin exudes a relaxed sincerity that is often overshadowed by loudness and overdone melodies on country records these days. The song selection, however, is a step below the debut efforts of the ’89 Class like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson or Clint Black.
While Corbin’s voice is surprisingly indistinctive, it is pleasant and melds rather nicely with his choice of structurally simplistic songs. Much like his voice, however, none of the melodies or lyrics on this album are particularly memorable, though inoffensive they may be. Nevertheless, the potential for this newcomer is tangible and future growth is extremely likely. So, it would be wise for us to keep an anticipatory ear out for Easton Corbin’s future endeavors.
I enjoy the sound of Corbin’s first single, but its basically fluff. Its the kind of song that sounds good for a few months but wears thin. Also, I generally dislike songs that go on about how country the singer is. These songs tend to be just lists of stereotypical country things and how the singer loves them. Not very interesting.
I love the album. I think it’s a breath of fresh air amongst the pollution of the pop leaning country that’s taken over the format these days. My favorite song is actually “Don’t Ask Me ‘Bout a Woman” while my least favorite is “A Lot to Learn About Livin'” mainly because of the island vibe. Plus its messes up the flow, in my opinion, when you have 10 traditional songs and then decide to throw in a random mainstream, island flavored song. Overall its a fantastic debut and I’m glad there’s a real traditionalist among country’s newcomers!
I basically agree with the review – I’d give it 3.5 stars, but it could use stronger material.
I’d suggest looking back in time, since most of today’s songwriters stink anyway.. There were a lot of great songs from the 1960s and 1970s there were never released as singles – I’d suggest Corbin mine some old Merle Haggard and Buck Owens albums for singles. Many of Hag’s albums had ten great songs, only one or two of which were released as singles
I don’t know muc about Easton Corbin, but i like this one “A Lot to Learn About Livin’” hmmm
Paul Dennis writes: “I’d suggest looking back in time, since most of today’s songwriters stink anyway.. There were a lot of great songs from the 1960s and 1970s there were never released as singles.”
Tough critic. Reminds me of a former co-worker who believed that any book written after 1900 wasn’t worth reading. I think there are many very good songwriters today – Matraca Berg, Tony Arata, Gretchen Peters, Gary Burr, just to name a few. I also think it’s just as true for the last 20 years that there have been many great songs that were not released as singles. I think the expression “hidden treasures” has been used on this website.
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I’m so Curious…..
Gotta find the album around…, wondering if Easton’s album are available in Indonesia :D
This is one of the first albums that I love EVERY song!
he was at my school today to vist hes gf
Easton Corbin is making a big contribution in boosting the country music genre of country music in the music scene. It won’t be long his music will reach the rest of the world.
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